UK retailers want accurate location data but are unable to get it in the current market

Tyrone Stewart

Mobile location62 per cent of retailers believe that high levels of accuracy is an important trait to have in location data, with 57 per cent wanting this accuracy to lie between one and five metres, but these levels of accuracy are very rarely the case.

According to a Location Sciences survey of 157 UK retail professionals, in partnership with RetailTechNews, 36 per cent of retailers believe that building accurate location-based audiences is the most value insight to be gained from accurate location data.

Despite this, 54 per cent of retailers are currently obtaining their data through programmatic bidstream, which is viewed as an unreliable third-party data source without any measure of accuracy or precision. In addition, 53 per cent of respondents said an indication of dwell time at the location would indicate good quality data, though this isn’t available programmatically via the bidstream.

“UK retailers expect accurate data and insight when buying location-based advertising campaigns, however the market is not meeting this need,” said Mark Slade, Location Sciences CEO. “With the IAB reporting 2017 mobile display ad spend of £2.54bn and estimates that 80-90 per cent of location signals are inaccurate, it is time the media industry treated location accuracy with the same significance as viewability, fraud and brand safety before it. The case for industry location benchmarks and independent verification is clear.”

The research also found that 36 per cent of retailers expect there to be a precise time stamp accompanying any location data, while just four per cent of retailers expect their location to be accurate within 100 metres.